Unanimous Vote: Senate Passes Legislation to Ban TikTok from U.S. Government Devices

Tik Tok
NARINDER NANU/AFP via Getty Images

The United States Senate passed legislation Wednesday night to ban the Chinese social media app TikTok from U.S. government devices amid national security risks.

The vote by unanimous consent approved Sen. Josh Hawley’s (R-MO) No TikTok on Government Devices Act. The legislation would ultimately ban the Chinese social media app or any of its successors or services developed or provided by ByteDance Limited and any entities from the company.

Of course, the legislation offers exceptions for any “law enforcement activities, national security interests and activities, and security researchers” as long as the said agency “develop and document risk mitigation actions for such use.”

In 2020, under former President Donald Trump, the administration tried to ban TikTok, but it resulted in the Chinese social media app’s parent company divesting the platform to an American company, as previously noted by Breitbart News.

“TikTok is a Trojan Horse for the Chinese Communist Party. It’s a major security risk to the United States, and until it is forced to sever ties with China completely, it has no place on government devices,” said Hawley in a statement after the bill passed. “States across the U.S. are banning TikTok on government devices. It’s time for Joe Biden and the Democrats to help do the same.”

A companion bill was introduced in the U.S. House last year by Republican Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), but it was yet to be approved by the members of the House Oversight Committee, which needs to happen before it goes to the floor.

“Once again, Sen. Hawley has moved forward with legislation to ban TikTok on government devices, a proposal which does nothing to advance U.S. national security interests,” a spokesperson for TikTok said in a statement following the passage of the senator’s legislation. “We hope that rather than continuing down that road, he will urge the Administration to move forward on an agreement that would actually address his concerns.”

The spokesman was referring to the Chinese social media app and the U.S. government trying to negotiate a deal that would allow TikTok to keep serving U.S. users, according to CNN. Reportedly, there have also been multiple closed-door talks between the two for years.

A visitor passes the TikTok exhibition stands at the Gamescom computer gaming fair in Cologne, Germany, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. Around 1,100 exhibitors from 53 countries expect tens of thousands gaming enthusiast daily for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic at the world's largest gaming event. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

File/A visitor passes the TikTok exhibition stands at the Gamescom computer gaming fair in Cologne, Germany, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

However, in recent months, there has been a push from Democrat and Republican public officials to take and/or call for action against the Chinese social media app over concerns that it could surveil Americans.

On Tuesday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced another bill in the Senate with Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-WI.) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) introduced a companion bill in the House also aimed at limiting TikTok in the U.S. over national security concerns.

“The federal government has yet to take a single meaningful action to protect American users from the threat of TikTok,” Rubio said in a statement about the ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act. “This isn’t about creative videos—this is about an app that is collecting data on tens of millions of American children and adults every day.” 

Additionally, on the state level, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) announced Tuesday an immediate ban on the Chinese social media app TikTok from state government devices and any state agencies from subscribing to or creating an account on the platform due to security concerns. Reynolds’ was similar to orders other Republican governors have given, such as South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R), South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R), Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R).

Furthermore, a Rasmussen Reports survey released last week found that most voters believe the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could use the app to “collect sensitive national security information from U.S. government employees.” A majority also supported having federal legislation to ban TikTok from the U.S.

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at jbliss@breitbart.com or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.


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